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Think about the last time you had a hard day with your baby. Did you feed, and change, and carry, and bounce, and swing all day? Did you carefully drink your tea sideways around your shoulder while nursing? Did you yell at your spouse to get the thing, and the other thing, and that thing-you-can’t-remember-the-name-of-right-now off there and hand them to you now now now!?
That’s because your brain has more power than it has had since you were a baby yourself. You have neuroplasticity. Brain “plasticness” is how stretchy your brain is, how it can move and change with the times – in this case baby care and handling. Not since you learned to walk, talk, and ride a bike have you been as stretchy-brained as you are now. You will learn to feed and dress and sleep two new bodies – yours and the baby’s! – in just a few of the most intense days of your life.
This new brain also grows a new ability to care as well as to do. The parts of the brain that regulate motivation, foresight, planning, reward – yes, and love – grow and stretch too.
All this ability to learn new things comes at some cost. Remember those high gears? They won’t be as accessible while you’re powering through those first baby days. The gears aren’t gone though, you’ll find after some time that your high gears are right were you left them.
And behind them now is a more powerful engine. An engine full of love and the ability to listen to and care for your baby. You have the power of Mommy Brain, the most powerful brain of them all.